Background: Although community-acquired bacteremia is an important cause of childhood mortality in Africa, recognition of disease burden and potential impact of bacterial vaccines is limited.
Methods: Blood cultures for bacterial pathogens were conducted systematically among children <15 years of age admitted to Manhiça District Hospital, from 2001 to 2006.
Results: Blood-stream infections were identified in 8% (1550/19,896) of pediatric hospital admissions. Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) and Pneumococcus were the most prevalent pathogens isolated (26% and 25% of 1550 cases, respectively). Until 28 days of life, Staphylococcus aureus (39%) and group B Streptococcus (20%) predominated. Incidence of community-acquired bacteremia per 100,000 child-years was 1730/105 in children <1 year old, 782/105 in 1–4 year oldd, and 49/105 in children 5 years and older. Case-fatality of bacteremia was 12%. Community-acquired bacteremia associated mortality accounted for 21% (162/788) of hospital deaths. Resistance to antibiotics commonly used in Mozambique was high among invasive isolates of Haemophilus influenzae, Escherichia coli, and NTS.
Conclusions: Community-acquired bacteremia is an important cause of pediatric hospital admission and death in rural African hospitals. The high burden of disease, mortality, and pattern of antibiotic resistance associated with bacteremia underscore the need for prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa.